Activists breathe easier as Springfield drops down list of ‘asthma capitals’ (MassLive)
Local officials and community activists said they were heartened this week to learn the Springfield area is no longer considered an “asthma capital,” dropping to No. 12 on a national list.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America recently issued its 2021 list of the 100 most challenging places in the United States to live with the respiratory condition. The group said it bases the list on asthma prevalence, emergency department visits due to asthma attacks and asthma mortality.
City Councilor Jesse Lederman praised the work being done by the city, advocates and activists to address the asthma challenges, including efforts toward community education, and advocating for expanded access to health care for the most vulnerable populations.
For generations, the city “has been subject to disproportionate levels of pollution that has degraded our air quality,” Lederman said. “This, combined with an aging housing stock and unequal access to healthcare has continued to exacerbate cases of asthma, especially among our children and seniors.”
Lederman is chairman of the council’s Health and Human Services Committee and Sustainability and Environmental Committee.